GAME NINE - OYSTER BOWL: #15/16 Old Dominion vs. #9/10 James Madison

October 26, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Oct. 26, 2011

James Madison Game Notes

Game Nine:
Saturday, October 29, 2011 - Noon (EST)
Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium - Norfolk, Va.
#15/16 Old Dominion Monarchs (6-1, 3-2 CAA) vs.
#9/10 James Madison Dukes (5-2, 3-1 CAA)

TV: Comcast SportsNet (Ch. 35 Hampton Roads)
(Bob Picozzi - Play-by-Play; Antonio Freeman - Color; Brian Jackson - sideline)

Radio: ESPN RADIO - 94.1 FM
(Ted Alexander - Play-by-Play; Andy Mashaw - Color Analyst)

Video: (subscription required)
Livestats: Gametracker

CAA Weekly Teleconference Audio: Available on Monarch Media

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•  Old Dominion enters Saturday's game having moved up to its highest ranking to date following its 37-14 win over Villanova last weekend.  The Monarchs come into Saturday's Oyster Bowl ranked No. 15, up six places, in The Sports Network/ Top 25 Poll and comes in at No. 16, also up six spots, in the FCS Coaches Poll.

• ODU returns home after dropping its first home CAA contest with week seven's 39-35 heartbreaker to Towson, who is still undefeated in conference play.  The loss snapped a six-game home win streak for the Monarchs.

• Old Dominion restarted its football program in 2009 after a 69-year absence and in its three years has compiled an 22-7 overall mark as the best start-up in FCS history.

• Old Dominion went 9-2 in its inaugural season, 8-3 in 2010, and currently stands at 6-2 this season with victories over Campbell, Georgia State, Hampton, #20 UMass, Rhode Island, and Villanova.

• After playing two years as an independent in the FCS, the Monarchs join the CAA, considered by many to be the best FCS conference in the nation, and holds a 3-2 mark in the league.  Seven of the CAA's 11 programs were ranked in the national preseason polls and seven are ranked this week - New Hampshire, Maine, Towson, Old Dominion, Delaware, and William & Mary

• With week eight's win at Villanova, the Monarchs improved to 6-2 on the season, 3-2 in the CAA, 3-1 this season on the road and 10-2 all-time away from the friendly confines Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

• Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium continues to be the place to be in Hampton Roads on Saturdays.  The Monarchs' 19 home games, all have been sellouts.  While the last two season's have averaged 19,782, additional seating has brought Foreman Field's capacity to 19,818.  ODU is currently seventh in average attendance through week eight. 

• As a team through week six, the Monarchs are ranked in the Top 20 nationally in Sacks (4th - 3.75), Scoring Offense (6th - 36.75), Tackles for Loss (15th - 1.75), Net Punting (15th - 37.67), Rushing Defense (19th - 112.50), and Turnover Margin (22nd - .88)

• Individually in the national stats this season Jonathan Plisco ranks third in Punting (46.12), Aaron Evans ranks 27th in Kickoff Returns (25.57), and Ronnie Cameron ranks 27th in Tackles for Loss (1.50).

There are numerous post-season coaches' awards, but only a few that are determined by fans. For the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, winning is only part of the equation. Created in 2006, the award recognizes one college football coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II and III), rewarding them for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence. Winners will receive $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school's alumni association and the Coach of the Year trophy.

Go to and vote today and every day for Bobby Wilder, the head coach of the greatest startup program in FCS history. 

The Oyster Bowl, an annual college football game in Hampton Roads for 61 years, returns to Old Dominion University's Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium when the ODU Football Monarchs take on James Madison Saturday.Sponsored by the Chesapeake based Khedive Temple of Shriners International, the Oyster Bowl was played at ODU's stadium from 1946-1995. An additional $1 added to the ticket cost of Saturday's  game will support the Shriners' Hospitals for Children.

The first Oyster Bowl was played in 1946 between Granby High School (Norfolk) and Clifton High School (New Jersey). However, from 1948-1995, the game featured NCAA major college teams, featuring All Americans and future NFL players such as Ernie Davis of Syracuse, Don Meredith of SMU, Roger Staubach of Navy, Bruce Smith of Virginia Tech, Randy White of Maryland and 1960 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino of Navy.

In 1999, the game was revived and relocated to the Joseph S. Darling Memorial Stadium in Hampton, Virginia and featured a match-up between Division III college teams.

"Khedive Shriners are pleased to return to Foreman Field at ODU for the 62nd Oyster Bowl" says Don Meyer, Potentate of Khedive Shrine. "We currently have 207 patients on our active patient roster at Khedive and we hope that the exposure we receive from the 62nd Oyster Bowl will allow us to add more children that we can help through our Shrine Hospital System, which treats orthopedic, burn, spinal injuries and cleft lip and palate patients."

Click here for all-time Oyster Bowl results.

All-Time Vs. James Madison: First Meeting

The CAA's top scoring offense at 36.8 points per game in Old Dominion will meet the CAA's top scoring defense in James Madison, who is only allowing foes to score 18.7 points per game. Additionally, the Dukes are holding opponents to an average of 89.4 yards on the ground, while the Monarchs enter the game averaging 167.4 yards of rushing offense, fourth in the league. The Dukes aren't too shabby on run side either, leading the league at 242.7 yards per game.

While ODU enters just its third season of football, the Monarchs will be taking on a squad that began football in 1972, moved to a recognized varsity schedule in 1974, first awarded scholarships for the 1979 season and moved to Division I-AA in 1980. JMU moved from Division III to Division II in 1979 and to then-Division I-AA for the 1980 season. The Dukes have won the 2004 NCAA Division I-AA championship and have gone on to post-season play in 2008, 2007, 2006, 1999, 1995, 1994, 1991, 1987, 1982, 1978, and 1975. Head Coach Mickey Matthews is in his 13th season at the helm of the Duke program having complied a 93-58 overall and 61-42 CAA mark. 

James Madison enjoyed a bye-week last week and was last in action against Villanova two weeks ago on Oct. 15th. Villanova held a 7-6 lead at the half and added a field goal to go up 10-6 with 11:55 left in the third quarter, but James Madison would score four conescutive touchdowns to win the game by a score of 34-10 to improve to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the CAA race.

James Madison finished the game with 23 first downs and 456 yards of total offense on a balanced 253 rushing yards and 203 passing yards, while Villanova tallied 107 yards of rushing and 127 total passing yards.

Jace Edwards threw 9-for-12 for a career-high 203 yards while Dae'Quan Scott led his team with 109 rushing yards and Jordan Anderson contributing 85 yards and his three scores. Kerby Long recorded 103 receiving yards for JMU, 80 of which came on his fourth quarter touchdown reception.

When the ODU Football Monarchs take the field on Saturday vs. James Madison, it will be as a nationally-ranked team in both The Sports Network/ and FCS Coaches Polls for the third consecutive week.

In another first for the ODU Football program, the Monarchs were ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in school history coming in at No. 21 four weeks ago in The Sports Network/ FCS Top-25 College Football Poll. The Monarchs, made the jump after defeating then-#20 Massachusetts and rose to No. 18 following its 31-23 victory over Rhode Island on week six. Following the Monarchs victory over the Rams, ODU made its FCS Coaches Poll debut during seven coming in at No. 22.

Following week seven's loss to Towson, the Monarchs dropped three spots in the TSN Poll to No. 21, while remaining at No. 22 in the Coaches Poll. However, ODU moved to its highest rankings yet following the week eight 37-14 win at Villanova to No. 15 in the TSN Poll and No. 16 in the FCS Coaches Poll.

It took the ODU Football Monarchs until year three and 27 games to receive its first Top 25 ranking on October 3, 2011 coming in at No. 21 21 in The Sports Network Poll. Looking at other recent start-up programs, it took Coastal Carolina 32 games to achieve a national ranking when they came in at No. 24 in The Sports Network Poll in their third year on Nov. 8, 2005. That season the Chanticleers finished 9-2 and were the Big South co-champions.

Seven CAA Football teams appeared in this week's Top 25 after a record breaking nine were among the nation's Top 25 last week. It was the first time ever a league has had as many as nine teams in one week's poll at the FCS level. Prior to the record breaking nine league teams appearing in the poll, CAA Football was the only conference to ever boast seven among TSN's rankings in a single week having done that 14 times.

The Monarchs are third behind James Madison and Rhode Island in the CAA in rush defense. Take a look at how ODU has shut down its opponent's run game.

Campbell 4.5 (2010) 1.2
Georgia State    3.9 2.4
Hampton 5.0 3.3
Delaware 4.8 2.1
UMass 4.2 2.1
Rhode Island 4.9 3.7
Towson 5.1 4.7
Villanova 3.4


Reggie Owens made his first appearance for the Monarchs this season. Owens appeared at corner in the 1st quarter at Villanova last week making the 11th true freshman to play for the Monarchs this season.

True freshman running back Lorenzo Smith's 54-yard touchdown rush against the Wildcats last week was the Monarchs' second longest rush from scrimmage in ODU's three-year history. Two weeks ago against Towson, redshirt freshman Angus Harper had a 64-yard down field for the longest rush from scrimmage in the Monarchs' history.

Sophomore Keenan Terry made his first start in the place of the injured Eriq Lewis at cornerback. Also redshirt freshman Preston Smith made his first start as well in place of the injured Chad King at defensive end...

The 30 points scored by the Monarchs by the half at Villanova last week were the most by the squad at the intermission this season as the Monarchs went on to a 37-14 victory. The previous high was 28 in the season opener against Campbell. The all-time record is 50 vs. Savannah State last season.

Last week against the Wildcats, defensively, 25 Monarchs got into the mix led by corner Aaron Evans and linebacker John Darr with four stops each. The ODU defense racked up five sacks and eight tackles for loss.